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Ford Windstar Problems



  • rob43rob43 Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 windstar that the back blower blows hot air and the front switches from a/c vents to defrost automatically. I had planned on sending it to the shop but after reading posts here and elsewhere. I called ford dealer they quote me $45.00 for the part but told me thats not the problem that its elsewhere and it would be $500.00. Well I needed a new battery anyway so I was talking with the guys at a local auto store and they had the part for $11.00. He I can't go wrong ( part will be in tomorrow) So I came home installed the battery ripped the dash apart and sure enough while the engine is running I can hear a vacuum leak from the switch. Hope it does the trick.

    P.S. the switch in the back is due to my daughter dumping too many sippe cups in the cup holder, It leaked inside and on the switch.
  • rob43rob43 Posts: 2
    I had the same problem after buying my used 98 windstar the door ajar and ding ding stayed on, after lubing everything I traced it to a faulty switch inside the driver door. I removed the switch and cleaned it, Everything is fine after.
  • michel4michel4 Posts: 2
    I'm thinking of buying a Ford Windstar 2001 SE. Would anyone wave a red-flag in front of my eyes or would you say "go for it". In case you're interested, here are the stats:

    53,000 miles
    Fully loaded & then some, but no power doors
    V6 3.8L engine
    paint peeling on roof
    vcr not working

    I look forward to hearing from many of you owners!!! Thanks!! Christine :)
  • somssoms Posts: 1
    Ford has faulty PLANET GEAR SETS IN THE WINDSTAR. The bearings, Tork Converter, Forward Pistons and seals, Veins in the pump all go bads due to poor pressure and lube dispersion through out including the entire valve body of the transmission. If you don't get the upgarded palnet gear sets to replace the old you will continue to have problems every few months with your windstar tranmissions. This is something Ford needs to do something about if they want to be competitive in the marketplace.

    I believe this and other issues, like tie-rods, are manditory for a recall for all windstar owners under 100,000 miles in the spirit of good will in order to survive. If Ford did this and did some smart marketing to show their "good intentions" which are clearly backed without hesitation then I'd have good reason to consider buyying a ford again, (I've had bad transmissions in the Tempo 80's and Taurus 90's as well). OTHERWISE... I guess Ford has learned nothing from its “You Light Up My Life” Pintos... judging by the many complaints of transmissions and breaking tie-rod ends on Taurus and Windstar models.

    My next purchase will probably be back to Toyota or Honda unless Ford considers a reimbursement on my 2003 Winrdstar trandmission last week.

  • Take that thing to the shop that same thing happened to my moms windstar maybe a month ago i forgot what it was from but i do know that the day it broke down we took it in because there was like coolant or something running down the side of her car
  • kitch4kitch4 Posts: 5
    Well update time, I just finished the lower intake gasket on the 3.8L windstar. It ran excellent firing on all 6 cylinders for about 3 min from cold start. Then it started to misfire on #6 again. I could here a high pitched whistle but could not find it. I was pretty tired so I got upset and left it over night and started it again in the morning. Same thing happened but this time I listened for the whistle at the start and it was not there as soon as the whistle came the engine started to act up. I kind of pinpointed the sound to driver side just inside the wheel well. You can really here it from the wheel well but you really have to strain to hear it from the top. I looked all over and sprayed everything to see if I could make engine do something but nothing. I think it is a gasket because the engine runs great until it warms up a bit but where I do not know. Does anyone have an idea. I replaced IAC gasket, egr valve gasket, throttle body gasket, lower/upper intake manifold gaskets, valve cover gaskets, and replaced the fuel pressure regulator.
  • msgirlmsgirl Posts: 2
    I have the same exact problem! The front a/c blows through the defroster, and my back blows hot! Please tell me what I need to get to fix it, and how to do it.
    You will be a lifesaver! :D
  • msgirlmsgirl Posts: 2
    I have another problem. I've had mine stall on me when i've stopped and then try to speed up. But I think I've figured it out. I happen to be very hard on my van :blush: , if I don't slow down enough before I need to brake hard, it will stall and the only way to get it to proceed is to just keep on the gas, and that makes it rev way up. After about 15-30 seconds, it will just kick into gear. I'm concerned that could be a indicator of a transmission problem. Anyone have this happen? Please share!
  • dmh532dmh532 Posts: 1
    I have a disconnected vaccuum and my air doesn't work. It is somewhere behind where I can't see it. Tried reading the book (Haynes) no help on the location. Any ideas?
  • grff1grff1 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Windstar that has a thumping noise behind the control panel. Further more it will not change from air to heat. The A/C will turn off but if I turn the thermostat up the air coming from the vents does not get warm. The thumping changes sounds a little but still continues. Any ideas?
  • gordo1gordo1 Posts: 4
    I have a 98 windstar 3.8 L that has developed a strange whining sound in the rear left (as far as I can tell) that only happens at about 60 Km/h. Before and after 60 it is not there. Has anyone had this same problem, if so what was it?
    My dad has a 98 as well and it makes the same sound but it is much quieter - but it has 50 000 km less.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Tire or wheel bearing. Try rotating the tires front to rear. If the noise follows, it's a tire. If not, take a hard look at the wheel bearing.
  • gordo1gordo1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the suggestions. I had all of the things done 3 weeks ago and the sound is still there. A very high pitched whine that olny happens at 60 Km/h. I was wondering if the fuel pump is in the gas tank? Maybe that could be the problem. There is also some silver cylinder just infornt of the driver's rear wheel well and I have no clue what it is or does.

    Any thoughts
  • lillnubbslillnubbs Posts: 1
    we had the same prob, my wife paid a mech $50 while i was at work and still did not fix it, but after hours of searching i found a 1/4 (guess) hose at the top of the engine kind of behind on the passanger side, had a hole in it from rubbing on something.

    hope that helps
  • I have a 2003 Windstar and the front AC is stuck on defrost.. it does not matter what I put it on.. the air only comes out of the defrost vents. The rear AC works just fine.. any idea how to fix this problem?
  • my 2000 windstar had the same problem but the fuse number 10 was blowing and cruise control not working same thing with the abs lights and od not working the solution was master cylider and the cruise control switch and wiring to the brake fluid bottle . but there is also 2 other switches to this. i found my answer on this site to good luck
  • To clean the EGR Ports do you have to remove the entire intake Manifold or just the top half? I've been told that the isolator bolts are reuseable, Do those have to be replaced? I'm getting the P0401 error and have already replaced the EGR valve and the DPFE sensor is the valve cover that you are referring to different? I've only had this dang thing for 3 weeks and I'm already going insane. It's a '99 3.8 liter engine with 140,000 miles.
  • jessie3jessie3 Posts: 6
    :cry: I have a 2001 Ford Windstar with only 25,000 miles on it and nothing but trouble. It has been in the shop,thankfully, under warranty, for so much nonsense I cant even remember. Warranty is over (of course I didn't take extended warranty) NOW the problem is the brake light continues to come on and off (brake light and ABS light) - I took it to Ford and they weren't sure, (!) my mechanic looked at it today and replaced a switch on the master cylinder that was bad and sensing that the fluid was low -- the brake fluid has never gone down, no leaks. He thought that fixed it, well the light is back on again tonite.... so now what????

    The power window, driver's side, has been replaced FOUR times and again it isn't working.. I dont have to pay for the motor as it is under warranty, but still WHAT IS THE DEAL with this?

    I WILL NEVER buy a Ford again, NEVER.

    Anyway just venting -any ideas on the above?
  • jessie3jessie3 Posts: 6
    I just wanna tell you that I have the same problem continually. One day the rear windows both work, the next, only one, the next day -none, the next day both. I think they are possessed. The driver's window, I have replaced that motor 4 times and it isnt working again. What a piece of junk these Fords are.... sorry to say.... :lemon:
  • dani3boyzdani3boyz Posts: 3
    OMG.... it sounds like you have been driving MY van! :lemon:

    I have the same van with 32,000 miles on it and the ABS has been a source of trouble since day ONE! I need to replace the left front axle for the second time and the right front axle was replaced about two months ago. I'm no mechanic but this is what I've been told.....

    The ABS sensor lens (I think that's what it's called - it tells the system whether your wheels are locked, spinning, etc.) is on the axle and has a tendency to corrode and crack (sometimes to the point of dangling off). If it cracks and the "eye" (I don't know what else to call it) isn't seeing the wheel where it should, it makes the ABS kick in every time you apply the brake. I drove around like this for and extended time and eventually the ABS stopped kicking in and the ABS light just continually stayed on. It is my understanding that the ABS light on means that your ABS system is NOT functional at that time and will not kick in if needed. My brake light has been coming on intermittently, too. The only solution for this is getting the axle replaced, apparently. The axle replacement cost me about $800 each time from my local mechanic. The dealer wanted $1200.

    Has your anti-lock kicked in during normal braking? If so, this may be your problem.

    At this point I'm am just biding my time until I replace this heap of scrap metal and plastic so I'm not going to replace the axle again. I drove cars without anti-lock brakes as an option forever... I'll just make believe that this one never had it to begin with.

    I also need a motor for my driver-side window but I'm not going to replace that either. If I hit the button enough times, it goes up or down eventually. My engine light goes on for no apparent reason and only goes off if my mechanic re sets it. His scan thingy tells him that a clog was detected somewhere but when he checks it out, there isn't anything wrong. It usually goes back on about 24 hours later. I give up on that one, too. Also, my back windows occasionally don't open for a day or two but then work just fine.

    My van's newest trick is "Guess how fast you're going!". The speedometer jumps up and down about 10 mph in each direction while I'm driving at a steady speed. Something tells me that this is related to axle needing to be replaced but who knows.

    Again, I'm not claiming to know what I'm talking about but this is the way I interpreted what the dealership and my mechanic have told me. Good luck with your lemon.

    Dani :shades:
  • dani3boyzdani3boyz Posts: 3
    Same thing happened to me while I was still in warranty. I'd only get a few gallons in and not only would in kick off as if it was full.... but it would SPEW gas out at me like a fountain! :( I believe the dealer replaced the gas tank but seeing as I wasn't paying for it, my memory could be failing me. :blush:
  • jessie3jessie3 Posts: 6
    :) Im laughing at your reply... I finally had a REPUTABLE mechanic today replace my power window motor and the one he took out was an after market piece of junk, so my now EX mechanic was really ripping me off. I hope all is well with this one now. The ABS n brake lights, well I am gonna ignore them. The brakes seem fine to me, the same as they always were. I wouldn't know the ABS from normal brakes anyway, then again I am a blonde!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • drndrn Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Windstar that has a problem in the front temperature control. I am unable to adjust the temperature by turning the knob. Any ideas out there?
    Thanks, DRN
  • Hi Jessie,
    How much did the window motor end up running you? I've never even priced it. I've seen a TON of window issues on this site... can this be coincidental or will Ford ever fess up and admit that it's an inherent defect and start covering the repairs? I doubt it but it's good to dream once in a while. ;)

    You would totally know that your ABS was kicking in....... when you apply the brake it makes this horrible brake-grinding sound while it's trying to NOT let you stop. The brake pedal sort of kicks back at you and the van keeps lunging forward. Real fun stuff!!! First time it happened, it scared the bejeezus out of me! :surprise:

    Glad you found yourself a good mechanic. Finding a mechanic you can trust is harder than finding a good doctor. :)
  • I purchased my white 2000 SEL in late 1999 with it fully loaded and added gold stripping. I also purchased the 5 yr warranty because it was one of the first manufactured off the line and I expected trouble.

    I've had very few problems. I have recently had a fender bender and cosmetic sheet metal is all that is needed. The insurance company will pay for the entire accident and it should look as good as new even though I have about 80,000 miles on it.

    Since Fords new vans look exactly like my current van I see no reason to trade it in for a 2006 van. Does anyone disagree with me on this. I can afford to pay cash for any new car but it doesn't seem worth while.
  • Same problem, replaced the brake pressure switch and fuse no longer blows. The bad thing is that I obviously did not get to the cruise control servo in time. The wiring harness was wet with brake fluid, and I was going to clean it out, but the far right side of the plug was melted and smelled burnt. I still cleaned it out, but the cruise control still does not work ( I did not think it would). Do I need to replace the harness? the servo? both?
  • Last week, driving home from my daughters practice my 2001V6 3.8L Windstar SE did not want to move in any gear. I coasted over to the shoulder of the highway and stopped. I put the van in drive and nothing, put it in reverse and nothing. Any gear I would put the van in seemed it was in neutral. My friend ran his scanner to what the problem was and only came up with P0171 and P0174 codes. Which means Bank 1 and Bank 2 (System is to Lean). Can this be the problem or can it be something more serious like the tranny gone out? If anyone has had this problem, please reply to this post or email at

  • shanmalshanmal Posts: 2
    Hi was wandering if anyone else has had the same problem I have a 2001 ford WS 3.8 we have already had to replace the o2 sensors and the aabout six weeks later the check engine light came on the Mech. said the computer said it was the manifold casket They cahnged it and the light came back on we ended up changing the EGR valve the EGR relay and the light still came on the last thing replaced was the DFPS and that seemed to work Now the darn thing is acting up again THe ABS light is on The Brake light is on the O/D light is blinking and my speedometer and the odometer quit working and the air is blowing lukewarm air. The mech says it is the Speedcontrol sensor that is shorting out and blowing a fuse that controls just about everthing anyways left it at the shop should I prepare for more problems
  • leach27leach27 Posts: 1
    Just had the same issue and it was luckly and easy fix. Really no noise except between 38 - 40 MPH. I figured it might be a bad bearing too but it wasn't. Check your rear ABS sensor for corrosion or build up. This is a small rectangular piece that sensors the teeth on the axle. It is magnetic and because it is inside of the drum it tends to pick up small pieces of metal debris. If it builds up to much debris it could make slight contact with the teeth as they spin past the sensor and cause this noise. Just remove the tire and brake drum, grab a lug and spin it by hand, you should be able to find the noise easily if this is the problem. Clean off the sensor or replace if needed and this should solve your problem. Make sure you check both sides.
  • tmp888tmp888 Posts: 20
    Have you tried to put it in 3, 2 or 1/L? Is there any other code?
This discussion has been closed.